Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Study shows that to build more muscle, older adults should double their protein.

It's no secret that consuming protein assists your body when it comes to building muscle.  As you age your body's ability to build muscle declines especially if you also eat less protein.
It goes without saying that maintaining and building muscles is especially important for older individuals.

And if that's you, you'll be interested in new research that was recently presented in the American Journal of Physiology -- Endocrinology and Metabolism.

To set the stage, the current US recommendation for protein intake per day is 0.8 grams/kilogram of body weight (roughly 62 g of protein per day for a 170-pound person).  (An easy way to determine how many grams of protein you need each day is to times your body weight in pounds by .36.)

Researchers at the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity at the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences studied 20 healthy adults between the ages of 52 and 75.  Half the participants ate the recommended daily amount of protein each day.  The other half ate double the amount.
The researchers noticed that they...

observed a definitive effect of a higher amount of protein intake in mixed meals on whole body net protein balance and muscle protein synthesis.  Whole body net protein balance was greater with protein intake above recommended dietary allowance."

In other words, if you double your protein, you'll build more muscle.

Although it's a relatively small study, other studies now also conclude that as you age your body needs more protein to maintain its muscle mass.  (Before making any alterations to your diet, check with your doctor.)

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